Meredith Vieira Brought Left Shark to BU Commencement

The Emmy-winning journalist encouraged grads to dance to their own crazy beats.

via BU

via BU

Trailblazing journalist and television host Meredith Vieira delivered Boston University’s 142nd Commencement address Sunday with a little help from a finned friend.

Vieira—whose address touched on through her education at Tufts, her humble start at WEEI and later WJAR in her native Providence, and desire to put her family first, to the chagrin of network execs and some feminists—ended her remarks with an unorthodox reflection on nonconformance.

“Don’t be the person who puts on a suit and takes off their glasses like this mid-sentence because he thinks it makes him look smart. Trust me, unless you’re the incredible Ed Bradley—CBS correspondent Ed Bradley, who was really cool—or maybe a TV lawyer, it looks good for them, but everyone else, it’s just affect. Stay away from affects. Better yet, the Left Shark,” Vieira said.

The grads appeared confused at first, before Left Shark, who went viral for his role in Katy Perry’s Super Bowl halftime show earlier this year, came flopping down the rostrum toward Vieira.

via BU

via BU

“Remember last Super Bowl when the Patriots won? Yeah well, you may be thinking of Tom Brady’s deflated balls right now, but I’m thinking of Katy Perry’s halftime performance,” Vieira said. “She was on-stage dancing with two sharks. The shark on the right knew every dance move and performed perfectly. But it was the Left Shark, the one who went rogue and danced to his own crazy beat, who stole the show. So don’t ever be a conformist for convenience’s sake, or as Mark Twain put it, ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.'”

“Be the Left Shark.”

In stark contrast to then Gov. Deval Patrick’s admonishment to students to get off their smartphones last year, Vieira’s point seemed to strike a chord.

“Be the left shark!” -#BU2015 commencement speaker Meredith Vieira. Congratulations, Terriers!

Posted by Boston University Alumni Association on Sunday, May 17, 2015